LOS ANGELES, Calif. /California Newswire/ — During a time of historic unemployment and stagnant job growth, U.S. Conference of Mayors President Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Vice President Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Second Vice President Mesa (AZ) Mayor Scott Smith released the USCM Common Sense Jobs Plan. The plan outlines a practical set of proposals designed to create millions of new jobs by immediately investing in infrastructure, small businesses, manufacturing, trade and tourism.

“It’s time to break the gridlock in Washington, stop scoring political points and start scoring wins the American people need on jobs,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “We call on President Obama to lead with a bold and practical jobs plan that throws an immediate life preserver to employers and workers and creates the jobs we need now to turn this economy around.”

The report found at focuses on four critical steps that Congress can take to get our economy moving again immediately when session reconvenes September 6:

1. Invest in infrastructure jobs now. That begins with passing a comprehensive, fully-funded transportation bill.

Congress should immediately pass a comprehensive, fully funded Transportation Bill, which will create 2.8 million jobs and encourage billions in additional local infrastructure investment.
Create 114,000 clean energy jobs through expansion of the Better Building Initiative.
Create 50,000 construction jobs by transforming foreclosed housing into energy efficient, rental properties.

2. Provide immediate relief to employers and workers including veterans.

Congress can save one million jobs by simply extending unemployment for 7.3 million jobless Americans.
Extending the payroll tax cut and adding a tax cut for employers on new hires could pump an additional $112 billion into the economy this year.
We should help the estimated one million unemployed veterans by offering tax incentives to companies willing to hire military personnel returning from service

3. Stimulate Manufacturing, Trade and Tourism.

Congress should pass a new Manufacturing Loan Program, which would invest $20 billion to help generate new manufacturing jobs.
Offer additional incentives to the small businesses that account for over half of all private sector employees and 44 percent of total private payroll.
Bring in a million more tourists and create over 1.3 million jobs by simply passing visa reform.

4. Maintain smart investments in key domestic priorities that support infrastructure programs, provide vital services and help generate jobs.

For example:

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a program that targets low-to-moderate income neighborhoods, has already been reduced to 1980s funding levels. A recent study projected that the $3.9 billion in Fiscal year 2010 CDBG funding, generated 120,000 jobs and contributed $10.7 billion in Gross Domestic Product.
The HOME Investment Partnerships, which has made possible more than one million units of affordable housing since its inception.
The COPS program, which this year received $2 billion in requests for just over 9,000 officers.

“U.S. cities are where much of the nation’s job creation begins,” said Mayor Nutter. “I encourage President Obama to present a jobs plan that invests in infrastructure, creates incentives for businesses to hire new employees and prepares our citizens to participate in the 21st century economy.”

“Extending tax cuts and investing in a long-term infrastructure strategy are two essential components to jump-starting the American economy,” said Mayor Smith. “Washington should act decisively and work across party lines to ensure job creation is a national priority.”

In the report, mayors also call for initiatives to create jobs that must move forward hand-in-hand with efforts to reduce federal budget deficits in the long term, with the goal of increasing confidence in the federal government and the U.S. economy.

Those initiatives include:
Closing corporate loopholes to result in a simpler and fair tax code.
Repatriating offshore corporate profits, estimated at $1.5 trillion that would result in U.S. dollars returning to U.S. soil where they can be used for job creation.
As our missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are brought to an end, reallocate spending to domestic priorities to strengthen our economy. This amounts to an additional $126 billion annually to rebuild American infrastructure.
Establish more equitable tax rates that will ensure that we can adequately invest in our national priorities.

According to a previously released U.S. Conference of Mayors June 2011 report, Metro Economies: GMP and Employment Forecasts, by the end of this year, 25 metro economies will have unemployment rates higher than 12 percent and forty-eight metros may not regain jobs lost during the recession for 10 years.